Further to yesterday’s email, you might like to read the following, it is very indicative of mainstream attitudes to “food” animals...i.e. they are not animals.
Some months back I was with two colleagues from London Animal Action. We had set up a stall at Angel Islington, complete with posters and leaflets. Whenever people stopped to sign our petitions we invited them to help themselves to as many leaflets as they wanted.
About the time when school knocked off, we had a number of schoolgirls (about 13 – 15 years) signing. One group of about 4 started talking to us, yes, they loved animals, and yes, it was cruel to put them in laboratories, circuses etc.
They took a few leaflets, then one noticed the leaflet entitled “Eating Animals.”
“Oh, look, some people eat animals. How gross.”
“You’re vegetarian or vegan, are you?” I asked.
“No. I’m not vegetarian,” the one replied.
“Then you eat animals, too.”
“Of course I don’t. But I’m not vegetarian,” she said.
“But, if you're not a vegetarian, then that means you eat animals. Vegetarianism means not eating animals,” I persisted.
“No, I wouldn’t eat animals, that’s disgusting.”
“Then you must be a vegetarian.”
“No, I’m not. I eat meat, but I don’t eat animals.”
By this time my two friends were listening to this, quite astounded.
“Well, let’s put it this way,” I said. “Do you eat hamburgers and things?”
“Yes, of course I do. We all do. But they’re not made out of animals.”
“What do you think that lump of mince meat is in the middle of the bun?”
“Lamb or cow, or something, I guess.”
“Right,” I said. “And what are lambs and cows? They’re animals!”
“No they’re not,” the girls chorused. “They’re not proper animals. Animals are cats and dogs and things like that.”
“No,” I said. “Animals are cows and lambs and pigs as well.”
“Oh, no,” the first one said. “You can’t count them as animals. They’re just things that taste good.”
They went off with various leaflets, but didn't take the ones on vegetarianism / veganism. They could not acknowledge that they ate animals, real, proper animals that is.
That’s what we’re up against.
I reported the incident in the Ph.D. – see also the comment about journalist Julia Burchill that follows…
When members of an animal advocacy email networks were requested to contribute their experiences of public attitudes to animals, a reply was received in August 1999 from a member of the local campaign group, London Animal Action.
This correspondent recounted a time when her information stall was visited by four teenagers. During the subsequent discussion about the leaflets on offer, one of the group said she did not eat animals although she was not a vegetarian.
After an investigation of this rather confusing and contradictory statement, it transpired that she did not consider farmed animals to be "proper animals" at all; rather they were just "things," whereas the species of animals she regarded as "real animals" were those such as cats and dogs that people kept and used as companions.
Although these views seem distinctly odd, especially articulated in this fashion, they may be more widespread than one may think. For example, writing in the Guardian (21.8.99), journalist Julie Burchill talks about herself being "mad about animals."
However, to clarify, she adds the following caveat: "When I say ‘animals’, I don’t mean the poor brutes bred for food and I don’t mean the wild animals you see on TV... No, what I mean, of course, is pets - dogs and cats, but cats in particular."
It seems likely that the types of representations of animals discussed here could be regarded as explanatory factors of common social attitudes towards animals and human-nonhuman relations which Francione  has controversially described as a general "moral schizophrenia" about animal issues.
 Francione, G.L. (2000) Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog? Philadelphia: Temple University Press.